In light of the recent events that have been plaguing countless lives over the past few months, I want to talk about what it means to suffer. Why do we suffer? What is its purpose and if there is one why is it necessary? These are all things I’ve pondered throughout my lifetime.
Since I was little I’ve been plagued a plethora of what I thought to be unnecessary complications in life. When I was five I was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder. When I was seven they further concluded that I have Attention Deficit Disorder and when I was eleven I was diagnosed with what I believed for the longest time to be the greatest burden of my entire life, obsessive compulsive disorder.
I often imagined this triad of mental illnesses as a spinning wheel. The wheel is emblematic of the reoccurring negative thoughts caused by the OCD that constantly plagued my mind. The spinning analogy symbolizing how my ADD sped up the reoccurrence of these thoughts and finally anxiety disorder being the physiological effect this has on my functioning.
Whenever I was in contact with another human this spinning wheel analogy seemed to come into play. As soon as someone would try to interact with me these constant thoughts of doubt and mistrust would plague my attention thus pulling me away from the interpersonal connection that I knew I was capable of having. This trifecta of “burdens” had in essence ruined my life. Every friend I made from the age of 5-11 gone. They all moved on and made new friends leaving me to ponder what’s wrong with me. Why couldn’t I be like everyone else?
I could see it in everyone’s eyes that they didn’t want me around but I felt powerless to change these perceptions. No matter how many people I tried to interact with the reaction of both myself and my peers remained the same. I knew in my head that I was better than what I put forth to others but felt powerless to make a change. For over a decade this victim mentality had flooded my consciousness making me constantly doubt myself. I hated myself for years. That is until I realized something.
I’m a good person.
I know what it’s like to suffer and it’s because of this that I am willing to work with other people who also suffer. Over the past couple years I’ve finally began to take control of my life through meditation, a sound diet, and consistent exercise. I started building confidence in my appearance and succeeding academically. For the first time in my life I felt accomplished because despite everything that was put in my way as a child I’m about to graduate with bachelor’s degree in a subject that I love. I started to make a name for myself but I also now understand what it feels like to be an outcast.
The trials and tribulations of the past decade have taught me to be strong both mentally and emotionally. I can deal with difficulties and I can also be passionate for those who deal with difficulties. These “burdens” that constantly plagued my life became learning blocks that led to my own spiritual growth.
The moral of the story is that if you have a major flaw or challenge in your life learn to make it your strength because with every traumatic event comes a learning opportunity. Think of suffering as a period of growth that will shape you into the mature and compassionate adult you were meant to be. I am who I am today because I suffered and I wouldn’t change it for a thing.
Thanks for sharing. A lot of suffering is unnecessary. I realized too over time that our wounds become our graces. Traumas don’t have to be visited and relived to be honored because their compassionate knowledge is imprinted. if that makes sense.